By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland was a garish eyesore and a blight on his record as a filmmaker. I simply loathed it, and will brook no argument to the contrary. It’s cinematic garbage. … So naturally, it gets a sequel. And it sounds even worse than the original. “It regroups most of the cast … but it can’t replicate Burton’s unique weirdness,” writes Rafer Guzmán of Newsday. “The visuals seem less muddled, and the plot isn't just an excuse to stick another sword into the hand of another fairytale character,” writes Alonso Duralde for The Wrap, “but it's still a bright and shiny jumble of effects attempting to cover up the utter lack of interesting characters.” Not even Helena Bonham Carter's Red Queen could make this anything but a big no for me. (PG for fantasy action/peril and some language; United Artists Amarillo Star 14, 8275 W. Amarillo Blvd., and Cinemark Hollywood 16, 9100 Canyon Drive)
We move into the 1980s with the latest X-sequel, in which the mutants face off against Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac, the internet’s boyfriend following his turn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens), an ancient mutant who believes he must wipe out mankind in order for the strongest to survive (under his rule, natch). Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence, in what’s likely her last X-movie) helps Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) recruit a new team of young mutants to join the battle against Apocalypse's Four Horsemen — Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Angel (Ben Hardy), Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and former ally Magneto (Michael Fassbender). Reviews are pretty mixed, though Bilge Ebiri of the Village Voice lauds director Bryan Singer’s “storytelling verve.” “Where other recent superhero films have struggled to jam-pack their unwieldy plots with characters and incident and meaning, this film nimbly mixes narrative exuberance and emotional depth, flamboyant displays of power with quietly terrifying exchanges,” Ebiri writes. And for more about the baddie and how he signifies a major change in the film series, check out this think-piece from the AV Club. (PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images; Amarillo Star 14, Hollywood 16, Tascosa Drive-In)
Still playing: The Angry Birds Movie (AS-14, H-16); Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Westgate Mall 6); The Boss (TDI); Captain America: Civil War (AS-14, H-16); The Darkness (AS-14, H-16); The Divergent Series: Allegiant (WM-6); The Jungle Book (AS-14, H-16); Kung Fu Panda 3 (WM-6); London Has Fallen (WM-6); Miracles from Heaven (WM-6); Money Monster (AS-14, H-16); Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (AS-14, H-16); The Nice Guys (AS-14, H-16); and 10 Cloverfield Lane (WM-6).